Inside the Film Room: the Pittsburgh Steelers

Sep 22, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) runs after a pass reception against the Chicago Bears during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Bears won 40-23. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With tomorrow’s game rapidly approaching, I went inside the film room to take a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers. They may be winless so far in 2013, but that doesn’t mean they will be a pushover tomorrow. We are going to look at a drive that began late in the third quarter and carried over into the fourth.

First and ten from the Pittsburgh 23: Ben takes the snap in the shotgun, hits Emmanuel Sanders through a very small window on a slant right, just outside the arms of a linebacker. Sanders picks up 11 and the first down.

First and ten from the Pittsburgh 34: Ben again is lined up in the shotgun, with a back to his right. Heath Miller comes off the left side, finds a soft spot in the defense over the middle. Ben throws a strike to his safety valve, and Miller falls forward for 11 yards and another first down.

First and ten from the Pittsburgh 45: Ben is in the shotgun with a back next to him. Two receivers are to the left, and two are to the right. Ben takes the snap, and hits Antonio Brown, in the slot to the right, on a bubble screen. However, the Vikings snuff it out and stop him for a four yard loss.

Second and fourteen from the Pittsburgh 41: Once again from the shotgun, Big Ben takes the snap, hits Jerricho Cotchery on a quick stop route on the left side, and he moves ahead for ten yards. A penalty for unnecessary roughness gives the Steelers an automatic first down. Take a look at how Ben places this ball just outside the outstretched arm of the linebacker:

Pittsburgh one

First and ten from the Minnesota 34: Ben takes the snap in the shotgun, avoids the rush from his blind side, scrambles right and hits Felix Jones in the flat for a short four yard pickup.

Second and six from the Minnesota 30: From the no-huddle, Big Ben and the Steelers go five-wide. He looks at Emmanuel Sanders in the slot left, running a post pattern. However, he misses Sanders, his pass just out of the reach of Sanders’ out-stretched arms.

Third and six from the Minnesota 30: From the shotgun, Ben again hits his receiver in the slot to the left, this time, Markus Wheaton. He runs a post pattern, finds a soft spot, and makes the catch, good for fifteen yards and another first down.

First and ten from the Minnesota 15: From the shotgun, Ben is lined up with three receivers left, and one to the right, Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders attempts a double move on his guy, and is open. Ben goes his way, and the corner recovers to make a nice play on the ball to keep Pittsburgh off the scoreboard, for the moment…………

Second and ten from the Minnesota 15: From the shotgun, Pittsburgh lines up with 3 receivers stacked to the left, to give them free releases off of the line. Once receiver is lined up to the right. Ben takes the snap, feels the rush, buys time in the pocket, throws off-balance to Jerricho Cotchery, running a crossing pattern, for the touchdown. Take a look at how Ben gets the ball out.

Pittsburgh two

He doesn’t even need to set his feet to get off an accurate throw. What does that mean? If you are going to get near Ben, you had better take him down. Otherwise, he will burn you. Every time.

This also may be a big afternoon for one Mr. Kyle Wilson. As we go through that drive, Ben seems to look favorably to his guys coming off from the slot, going to the outside as a change of pace. That could end up isolating Kyle Wilson in some one-on-one matchups that end up playing a big part in deciding the result tomorrow.

Hopefully the Jets are ready.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Ben Roethlisberger Kyle Wilson New York Jets

  • Paul Newbold

    The linebackers and secondary will get a work out this week. As you mentioned Ben thrives in the middle of the field, and will find the mismatch against linebackers every time. Geno and the offense need to be productive, they’ll need to score touchdowns. In the end I think the Jets can pull this one out. Jets 24 ; Pitt 21.

    • Alan Schechter

      He sure did, thrive in the middle of the field and find those mismatches.